I have a friend in quarantine. He has about a week to go of his 14 day sentence. It’s hard going. Meals put down outside his door. No mixing with hotel staff or anyone else at all. Twenty minutes exercise per day – less than many prison regimes. And his crime? Arriving in Guernsey from the UK to work in our local hospital. Our borders are firmly closed. Anyone arriving in this little group of islands has to isolate for two weeks, or face a fine of up to £10,000. One man was recently fined £6,000 for his first offence!
My experience of chronic pain is that it isolates the sufferer. You can’t go out socialising because you simply don’t feel up to it. Even within families and homes you can’t take the noise and hassle of chatter and being with others. Sadness is compounded by loneliness as you ask yourself ‘Will I ever feel different?’.
Yes, you will. You are not shut up for ever. Try to look beyond the confines of your situation. Even lying in bed you could FaceTime or Skype someone you love. Above all, keep your mind on the fact that you are never truly alone. Jesus said “I will never leave you, I will never forsake you”.
For some of the lessons that I have learned in my many periods of real isolation caused by pain and recurring acute pancreatitis, get hold of my book ‘Through the Storms: a manual for when life hurts‘. And get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org as I would be pleased to hear from you.
My friend will emerge from behind his cage next week. I will be pleased to see him, and I hope he will be even better equipped to understand how people in chronic pain feel.